Maine certainly has a large population of moose, the Maine State Animal, especially in northern and western parts of the state. Although they are elusive, they can be seen all over the state.  In fact, recently there have been sightings of a moose right here on Route 96 in Boothbay.  Some years ago a moose actually swam out to Negro Island off Ocean Point Inn.  The moose was finally driven off the island by blowing fog horns.

Looking for moose in their natural environment is a popular activity.  It is so popular that Maine outfitters offer moose safari trips and personal moose guides. You can do this by paddling in canoes, riding in vans or walking through the woods.    These safaris are a great experience.moose 3  I went on one out of Bingham, Maine, a few years ago and we saw several moose, in Bingham early in the day!  It’s lots of fun and a great photo opportunity!

Brake for MooseMoose Crossing signs should be taken seriously.  There are many fatal accidents  involving moose in Maine each year.  Especially at night,  it is not easy to spot these  enormous, very dark, animals when they step into the road. May, June, September, October and December are the best months to see moose.  September and October are best if you are looking for a fully antlered bull.  Early morning and late day are the best times as they are feeding then.

Moose live for 15-25 years.  Male moose weigh about 1200-1500 pounds and females weigh about 900 pounds.  Calves are about 30 pounds at birth and weigh 300-400 pounds by the first winter.  The young stay with the mother for at least a year.  After their first birth, cows often give birth to twins but rarely to triplets. Moose have very poor eyesight but excellent senses of hearing and smell. Color can range from brown to a dusty black.moose 4  Calves are a light rust color.  The flap of skin that hangs below their throat is called a bell.

Mature males shed their antlers in November and December.  In the spring they get new antlers which are covered in velvet.  The velvet gets scraped off and the antlers become mineralized dead matter.  The primary function of the antlers is for display during mating season and to show dominance in the herd.moose2 Moose are most active at dawn and dusk.

They are not usually aggressive but can be if they are hungry, tired or harassed.  People should be warned that moose are wild unpredictable dangerous animals. The bulls are more aggressive toward people during mating season.  The females are more aggressive when they are pregnant or have calves with them.  If a moose is going to attack, it raises the long hairs on its hump, puts its ears back and licks its lips!!!

When I was a  a child visiting in Canada, local men made horns out of birch bark to call moose.moose  At dusk and into the evening the moose would congregate in the river about a half mile away.  It was really neat to blow into the horn and then wait for the moose to call back!

Check out some of the roads where you are most likely to see moose in Maine.  It is worth the search!!

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

 

I once heard Maine Humorist, Tim Sample, say that tourists come to Maine for three things…lobsters, lighthouses and moose.  The Blog has covered most of the local lighthouses and the history of lobsters.  Today I am going to give you a chance to test yourself on your knowledge of Maine lobsters.  A future Ocean Point Inn Blog will discuss moose and how to see them!            lobster

When is a lobster a chicken?…..when it weighs about one pound.

When is a lobster a pistol?….when it has no claws.

Why shouldn’t a lobster walk in the kitchen?….it’s the first chamber of a lobster trap.lobster buoys

What do you call a female lobster?….a hen.

How large is a lobster’s brain?….about the size of a grasshopper’s brain.

How old do lobsters get?….about 120 years old.

How many lobsters equal a pound of lobster meet?….5 – 6 six soft shelled lobsters.

How large do lobsters get?….45 pounds

What is a berried female lobster?….a lobster with eggs.

What do lobster eat?….fish, mollusks and algae.

lobster boat

How developed are their senses?….very poor vision but very good taste and smell.

Why are the claws banded?….because they are cannibalistic.

8dining_viewFor the best Maine lobster, served hot and fresh – see our Ocean Point Inn menu… after all – Maine lobster is best served with a view of the sea!

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

fair ridesIt is the season for Maine State, County and Town Fairs that are full of interesting events and foods.  All ages will find lots  to enjoy. Animal pulling, harness racing, flowerFair cow shows, demolition derbies, livestock exhibits, produce competitions, midway rides, entertainment, crafts, milking competitions, food booths, pony rides, truck pulls, pig scrambles, and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

A highlight to Maine fairs are the food vendors offering all the traditional fair food like fried dough, sausage sandwiches, bloomin’ onions, cotton candy, candied apples and corn dogs.  Put the diet aside for the day and have a gastronomical excursion. Fairs are often for multiple days.  Google a specific fair and find  events and Fair Foodtimes for a given day. Many of the fairs are an easy day trip from  Ocean Point Inn.

The following fairs are coming up.  Enjoy!!

August 13 – 22  Skowhegan State Fair in Skowhegan, Maine

August 17 – 18  Maine Farm Days in Clinton, Maine

August 22 – 29  Union Fair in Union, Maine

August 27 – 30  Acton Fair in Acton, Maine

August 30 – September 7  Windsor Fair in Windsor, Maine

September 4 – 7  Harmony Free Fair in Harmony, Maine

September 20 – 26 Farmington Fair in Farmington, Maine

September 25 – 27 Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine

October 4 – 11 Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, Maine

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

clamsAs guests come to Ocean Point Inn, they bring questions about “Maine Food.”  They want to know “what the locals eat!”  The questions have me thinking about what foods are traditional Maine foods??

Of course, everyone thinks of Maine lobster – steamed, baked stuffed – like our house recipe for Linekin Bay Lobster, lobster rolls, lobster stew, lobster salad and more.  Steamed clams and mussels are often served  with the lobster. lobster-bloody-steak2 Folks also look for a good fish chowder, commonly made with haddock in this area, and served with chowder crackers and sweet pickles.  Our Ocean Point Inn Crab Cakes can’t be beat – made with fresh Maine crabmeat.  Oysters, farmed right here on the Damariscotta River, are great raw on the half shell, stewed or fried.

The most common dessert with a Lobster Dinner is Blueberry Pie, the Maine State Dessert, made with wild Maine blueberries.  Our Ocean Point Inn pies have people coming back for more! An older blueberry dessert blueberriesthat I love is Blueberry Dumplings.  You boil the wild blueberries with sugar and drop the dumpling batter into the berries to cook – delish with homemade vanilla ice cream.  Blueberry Cobbler, Crisp and Grunt are wonderful.  Do you know the differences among them?  Grunts, Pandowdy and Slumps are varieties of the Cobbler.  Bettys and Buckles are made with a batter similar to cake batter.  These desserts are served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  The names sound unusual but, trust me, they are needhamsall delicious.

Needhams, which were first made in Portland, Maine, in 1872 by Reverend Needham, are a wonderful candy treat.  Believe it or not, they are made with mashed potato.  You would never know it to eat one!  The coconut and chocolate are the flavors that you taste.

 

whoopie pieWhoopie Pies have always been an old Maine favorite but are now popular in more of the country.  Williams Sonoma even sells a pan for whoopee pies!  Chocolate with a white crème filling is traditional but pumpkin with a cream cheese filling is yummy in the fall.

 

boston-brown-bread-aIn addition to beautiful foliage, fall in Maine brings Baked Bean Church Suppers.  Some bake the beans in the ground.  They are traditionally served with “brown bread” which was originally a very dark bread with raisins that was baked in a coffee can.  As a child, the round bread showing the rings from the can was fascinating to me.

Venison, deer meat, shows up on many Maine tables during the fall hunting season.  There are sometimes fundraisers offering a “Wild Game Dinner” which boiled dinnerincludes venison and more exotic meats like moose, bear and raccoon.

New England Boiled Dinner is popular in the fall as the root vegetables are harvested from the garden.  Cabbage, carrots, turnip, beets and potatoes are cooked with corned beef.  The flavors blend together for a delicious meal.

20090406-sugaronsnow4As the temperatures rise in March, the maple sap starts to run and maple syrup season is underway.  “Sugar on Snow,” hot maple syrup poured over the frozen snow makes a sweet sticky candy that is served with doughnuts and dill pickles.   Hard to tell how that combination got started!

dandelionOnce the grass is growing, the dandelions pop up.  Many Mainers love to pick the early dandelion greens before they flower.  The greens are traditionally cooked with salt pork and served with vinegar.

fiddlehead-fernFiddleheads, a member of the fern family, are also popular.
These days they are readily available in the grocery stores.  They are fun to pick and pickled with dill they make a very tasty appetizer.

How many of these traditional Maine foods have you eaten?  Look for them on your next trip to Maine, staying with us at Ocean Point Inn!

Boothbay Harbor, just 6.5 miles from Ocean Point Inn, is a bustling village of shops, restaurants, specialty boutiques and art galleries.  There is definitely something for everyone. Finding a place to Accessory shoppark during July and August is sometimes a challenge, but there are several public parking lots available.  Follow the blue P signs or check a map ahead of time to spot the lots. It is not possible to cover all the shops so I will pick some of my favorites.

calypsoCalypso is a delightful boutique of stylish women’s clothing.  Lyndy Bragg, the owner, has a real flair as a buyer and she brings the latest in fashion to Boothbay Harbor.

Tide Pools is a shared market of local artisans working in a variety of mediums from  lovely sea glass designs to rugs from fish line.  One of my favorite artists is Suzanne Norton and her sea glass mermaids, fish and jewelry.  She also does beautiful furniture painting.

m_maine_bracelet_overThe Silver Lining is full of creative Maine designs in silver using lobsters, puffin, mussels, blueberries, etc.  Take home something to remind you of Maine every time you wear it!

Boothbay Harbor Artisans carry a wide variety of creative work by local artists.  A great place to find a “gift from Maine.”

Sweet%20bay%20signSweet Bay specializes in the unique with many items by local Maine artists.  Look for the Sea Bags -Maine made tote bags constructed from sail cloth, outside the shop!

smiling cowThe Smiling Cow has been a favorite for generations and still brings smiles as people enter the store.  They have something for all ages in the souvenir department.  If you are here at the end of the season, do not miss the 50% off sale.  It is a great source of goodies for Christmas Stockings and Advent Calendars. Have fun to get your holiday shopping done in Boothbay in summer.

 

hol_storeThe House of Logan  carries an excellent selection of higher end clothing from casual to formal.  The Village Store next door and part of the same ownership has spectacular home décor, kitchen items, and children’s clothing. Sweet Bay specializes in the unique and has many items by local artists.  Look for the Sea Bags outside the door!  A source of great hostess gifts.

While you are shopping you will be passing many shops that sell delicious treats.  Pick something up and find a seat in the Whale Park to enjoy.

flowers-ocean-point-innThe Red Cup Coffee House offers sandwiches and sweet treats along with a variety of specialty coffee drinks. Downeast Ice Cream serves amazing homemade ice cream that is made on site.  Bailey Island and Jamocha Almond are two of my favorite flavors and their hot fudge sauce is out of this world!  They have a make your own sundae bar that is a special treat.

Daffy Taffy and the Fudge Factory make their own salt water taffy and fudge in a variety of flavors.  It is fun to watch them make it, to say nothing of how much fun it is to eat!!  The peanut butter salt water taffy and the penuche fudge are two of my favorites.  Ornes Candy is like stepping into an old fashioned 19th century candy shop.  Fun for all ages.  Remember shoelace licorice and beer barrels?  Coastal Maine Popcorn carries a wide range of popcorn flavor from lobster to dill pickle to buffalo wing.  What will be your new favorite popcorn flavor??

Teci_summer_SMEnjoy your days in the Boothbay Harbor Region while staying at Ocean Point Inn. See our other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, Camden and Rockland, and Monhegan Island.

Maine- the way life should be!

stp_oldchurch_history[1]A forty minute scenic drive from Ocean Point Inn will bring you to the charming coastal village of Damariscotta Maine.  The town of Newcastle is just before you cross the bridge into Damariscotta and is home to the oldest Catholic Church in New England.  This beautiful worship site is open to the public for viewing.

Further up the Damariscotta River is the Damariscotta Mills Fishladder Restoration.  This is a must see!!  The ladder helps the alewife run go from the river up the hill to the Damariscotta Lake to spawn. If you are a quilter or love fabric, be sure to visit the Alewives Fabric Store in Damariscotta Mills.  I love the fact that the interior of the store is like a giant rainbow with all the bolts of fabric arranged by color.  They are open seven days a week year round.

When you cross over the bridge into Damariscotta take a right into the town parking lot.  You can always get a place to park there!  The Maine Coast Book Shop and Café is a first class book store with an attached café for a delicious treat.  They carry an excellent selection of adult and child books, magazines and newspapers.

If you want a trip down memory lane, across the street from thee on Main Street  the book store is Waltz’s Soda Fountain, an authentic old soda fountain. Just liAccessory shopke 50 – 60 years ago.

The Weatherbird  at 132 Main Street has wonderful clothes and accessories for women.  The Weatherbird at 72 Court Street carries specialty foods and kitchenware.  The Accessories Shop on Main Street has unique gifts for your home and cottage.  The shop carries lots of sea related items.  Behind and under the Weatherbird shop on Court Street is the Damariscotta Pottery which makes spectacular pieces of pottery in all sizes and shapes.

Teci_summer_SMDamariscotta River Cruises will take you on a 50 foot River Tripper to see osprey, seals, bald eagles and seven oyster farms as you cruise down the river and back.

 King Eider’s Pub and the Damariscotta Bar and Grill both serve a nice variety of meals using local ingredients and presented with flair.  The staff in both restaurants are very friendly.  Reservations are recommended in both places. These are only highlights of shops, restaurants and places to visit.  Explore and find your own favorites as well.

Enjoy your days in the Boothbay Harbor Region while staying at Ocean Point Inn. See our other day trips to Boothbay, Bath, Camden and Rockland, and Monhegan Island.

Maine- the way life should be!

Common Eiders

The Common Eider Ducks have caught my attention lately as one Eider hen has three ducklings that she brings to the cove next to Ocean Point Inn to swim and feed.  This is the first time I have seen Eider ducklings at Ocean Point.  Not long ago the Common Eider was rarely seen, since it was hunted for its meat and eggs to near extinction in the 19th century.  Even though stricter laws to protect the Eider were enacted in the 20th century, the Eider population continued to diminish.  In 1930 Allan Moses, a taxidermist, convinced J. Sterling Rockefeller to buy Kent Island which had a large colony of nesting Eiders.  Six years later Rockefeller sold the island to Bowdoin College for $1.00 and they continue to do extensive research there.  Their very special down, one of the lightest and best insulators in the world, also helped save them.

Male Common Eider

Male Common Eider

The current population of Eider in Maine is stable  The species found along the Maine coast is similar to the ones found in the Arctic.

It is interesting that the Eiders only lay 3 – 5 eggs in their down lined nest compared to the local Mallard Ducks that lay 10-12 eggs.  The Eider ducklings are dark brown all over.  They eat crustaceans and mollusks so the little ducklings start diving right off.  They are amazing to watch.  The hen takes care of them and the males swim around in the area.  One day I watched the Eider hen try to have her three ducklings join a Mallard hen and her brood of nine.  The Mallard pecked at the Eider and pushed her ducklings away.  She would not let the Eider ducklings feed near her ducklings.

Here at the Ocean Point Innducks3 we are trying to protect the Mallard Ducks in the pond by asking our guests not to feed them.  The ducks become accustomed to being fed and do not fly south  in the fall.  There is no food for them here in the winter and they cannot survive. Please help us protect them!

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

lobster-boat-sunAn easy day trip from Ocean Point Inn is the area around and including Bath Maine – originally called Sagadahoc by the Abenaki Indians. Sagadahoc meant “mouth of big river” which is very appropriate as it is on the Kennebec River just north of the mouth. Samuel de Champlain explored this area in 1605, a few years before the Popham Colony was started. This colony did not succeed due to harsh weather and poor leadership, however these early colonists did build the first seagoing vessel constructed in the New World called Virginia of Sagadahoc. Most of the settlers in Bath, Maine, came from Bath, England.

Bath, Maine continues to be best known for shipbuilding, which began in 1743 and continues today at Bath Iron Works among others.

Ornaments Home and GardenAs you cross the bridge into the town of Bath, scan the skyline for the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with their widows’ walks and the elegant church steeples. A picture perfect New England seaport!

Bath’s Main Street is one-way and full of interesting shops. Here are three places I like to visit, but be sure to poke down the side streets of Bath as well.

Ornaments Home and Garden Store is a fun shop selling both new and vintage accessories. Owner, Gail Hunt, has a definite flair for design and decor as you will notice when you enter. Enjoy!!

MarkingsGalleryThe Markings Gallery has fine local art and crafts in metal, clay, fiber, paper, glass, paint, stone and wood. The artists who contribute to this gallery do very high quality and creative work. It is very difficult to leave without finding something you must have!

Now You’re Cooking – A Cook’s Emporium is a wonderful cooking store for all types of cooks. You will enjoy the store even if you do not like to cook. A great place to buy gifts! They carry everything you might want for your kitchen and more. Cooking Classes are also offered.

If you like to knit, crochet, weave or felt do not miss Halcyon Yarn. Delicious yarns in an amazing variety of colors, fibers and textures that are difficult to resist. The staff is very helpful.

mmmfrontThe Maine Maritime Museum has an amazing collection of over 21,000 artifacts and over 140 small craft showing Maine’s Maritime Heritage. A variety of cruises along the Kennebec River range from 1-6 hours. Wildlife, lighthouses and the shipyard are part of these tours. Many photo moments await you.

Bath Iron Works Trolley Tours describe the history of the shipyard which builds the Navy’s most advanced warships. The tours are M W F @ 12 and 2, T Th @2 and Sat @10. f you are in the area when a ship is being launched it is a great sight to see.

Dining in Bath:
Mae’s Cafe at 160 Centre Street has an amazing range of breakfast items served all day in addition to tasty lunch offerings of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. heir bakery will definitely fill your sweet tooth.

Solo Bistro at 128 Front Street is a divine place for dinner – a culinary delight with great ambiance. inner is served at 5 Wednesday through Sunday – closed on Monday and Tuesday. Friday nights they have live Jazz 6:30-9:30 P.M.

Kennebec Tavern at 19 Commercial Street is a waterfront Restaurant and Bar. Watch the boats on the river as you dine. They offer a large variety of seafood dishes in a casual waterfront 5_innatmosphere.

Enjoy your day in Bath. There are so many things to see and learn about in the town, a great short day trip from Ocean Point Inn.

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

Monhegan IslandAnother favorite day trip of ours from Ocean Point Inn is to head for the tranquility of Monhegan Island.  This tiny island, twelve miles out to sea, is less than one square mile in area. The island has no paved roads and no cars, just wonderful walking trails that lead you to amazing vistas.

monhegan-inn-viewAs you walk through the woods watch for the Fairy Houses. Stop to build one of your own from natural bits and pieces and see how creative you can be!

Browse the shops and galleries. The Black Duck Emporium has great gifts, espresso drinks and home baked treats.  The Lupine Gallery features Monhegan Artists. Winter Works is a cooperative shop of creative items made by the Island’s winter residents. The Barnacle also has a few gifts as well as sandwiches, soups and pastries.

Monhegan Island Fish House MarketFor lunch, I often get a crab roll at the Fish House Fish Market and eat it on the rocks at Fish Beach.  After lunch, I like to look for sea glass and shells on the beach.  You can bring your own lunch and enjoy eating at one of the many vistas on the highest cliffs in Maine.

Monhegan Island LighthouseWalk up the hill to the lighthouse where you can sit and enjoy the view.  Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals, birds and wild flowers.  Sometimes along the path from the dock, artists will be selling their crafts.  Note the lovely cottage styles as you walk around the island and try to imagine what it must be like here during a blizzard in January!
boat-tour
The Balmy Days II sails to Monhegan daily in season from Boothbay Harbor.  The ride out and back is beautiful in itself.  Capt. Bill Campbell will point out whales, seals, birds and other marine life as you go by the rugged coastline and outer islands.

Rams Head LightAfter leaving the harbor you will pass Ocean Point on your left and then the Ram Island Lighthouse on the right.  Next on the left will be the Pemaquid Lighthouse perched on the seaside cliffs.

What started out as a tiny spot on the horizon starts to look much larger.  Before you know it you are pulling into the dock at Monhegan Island.monhegan-island-color

Balmy Days offers an optional ride around the island for an additional fee.  You can make your reservation for the Balmy Days by calling 207-633-2284 or 800-298-2284.  Monhegan Island is a place that evokes fond memories and I bet you will want to return!

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

Rockland Shops - Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Having settled into life at Ocean Point Inn, I am ready to call a friend and say, “Let’s do a day trip!”  Of course, my first day trip of the season must be my favorite…..Seagull Cottage here I come!

Head out of Boothbay Harbor to Route 1 and “down east” toward Rockland.  As you drive through Waldoboro note Moody’s Diner, an old Maine tradition, on the right with the best homemade pies imaginable.  As you drive through Thomaston enjoy the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with the unique Widow Walks.  The Maine Prison Store on the right in Thomaston has nice gifts made by the prisoners – really!

rockland shop Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

In Rockland, my first stop is the Seagull Cottage which is a dream of  coastal decor.  You can walk through the store several times and still not “sea” everything.

Then I cross the street to the Island Institute Shop that sells beautifully made crafts by people living on Maine Islands. Close by is the Grasshopper shop for clothes and kitchen ware.

If time permits, the Farnsworth Museum is a must.  I never tire of the Wyeth work.  Before leaving Rockland, stroll down along the waterfront and see what Windjammers are in port that day.

From Rockland continue on Route 1 to Camden.  The homes in both Rockland and Camden are excellent examples of old Maine coastal architecture.  Seaside gardens explode with colorful flowers.

A walk along the waterfront will show you boats in port that day.  Camden’s main street is full of interesting shops with something to please everyone.

Mt Battie View Camden - Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

There are too many choices for lunch in Camden to list them.  I often just pick one I have not been to before or get something to go and head for Mt. Battie. The views from the top of the mountain down into Camden and over Penobscot Bay to Vinalhaven Island are simply spectacular!.  This is a wonderful place to have a picnic and walk around.  Be sure to bring your camera.

One suggestion for lunch is the 3Dog Cafe in Camden – great sandwiches.  There are many places specializing in seafood if that is your desire.  The choices are endless and up to you!

camden-harbor-sailboatHere’s hoping you enjoy this day trip as much as I do.  If you have questions, stop by the Ocean Point Inn Front Desk and see me before you go.  See our Favorite Things to Do List, including the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, The Maine State Aquarium and boat charters from Boothbay Harbor.

Remember, you may order a Box Lunch at Ocean Point Inn the night before if you have a trip like this planned. See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.